4mm scale 00 gauge
Ackthorpe is the Southampton Model Railway Society’s latest OO gauge layout. It represents a complete break from Society tradition in not being based on Southern Railway or BR Southern Region practice.
The layout is based on the Swinton and Knottingley line in West Yorkshire, which was originally built jointly by the Midland Railway and the North Eastern Railway to provide a more direct route from Sheffield to York and in the past was a very busy line. One of its attractions for modelling is the great variety of LMS, LNER and BR Standard locomotive classes that could be seen. The layout is inspired by two of the stations on the line, Moorthorpe and Ackworth, hence the name “Ackthorpe”. The period modelled is the mid to late 1950s, just prior to the great decline in freight traffic and rationalisation of passenger services. At this time there were still a number of pre-grouping locomotives at work in the area, whilst at the same time, diesel multiple units were appearing on local services and the occasional early diesel locomotive might be seen.
The model includes colliery exchange sidings and coal-loading screens, not based on anywhere in particular, but inspired by the presence of Frickley Colliery sidings just to the south of Moorthorpe station. These sidings bustle with activity as small National Coal Board tank engines shunt wagons between the exchange sidings and the screens for loading prior to marshalling for despatch to the main railway network.
Layout size: 36ft x 12ft.
LWB Transit-type van (hired) plus 1 car, 6 operators.
Length of hire depends on distance from Southampton and expected time of return on Sunday night.
Overnight accommodation normally required if more than approx 70 miles or 1hr 15mins from Southampton.
The images below were taken by Chris Nevard of Model Rail and Trevor Jones (JJ photo services).